Suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, or background. In fact, suicide is often the result of an untreated mental health condition. Suicidal thoughts, although common, should not be considered normal and often indicate more serious issues. Suicide Prevention Awareness Month provides a dedicated time to come together with collective passion and strength around a difficult topic. In addition to shifting public perception, this month is used to spread hope and vital information to people affected by suicide. The truth is, we can all benefit from honest conversations about mental health conditions and suicide, because just one conversation can change a life.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) works to ensure that individuals, friends, and families have access to the resources they need to discuss suicide prevention and to seek help. NAMI connects any person experiencing suicidal thoughts or behaviors to a number to call or a system to turn to, that would connect them to the treatment and support they need.
- Know the Warning Signs and Risk Factors of Suicide
- Being Prepared for a Crisis
- Navigating a Mental Health Crisis
- Need more information, referrals or support? Contact the NAMI HelpLine.
- If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call 911 immediately.
- If you are in crisis or are experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Hotline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255)
- If you’re uncomfortable talking on the phone, you can also text NAMI to 741-741 to be connected to a free, trained crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line.
- 78% of all people who die by suicide are male.
- Although more women than men attempt suicide, men are nearly four times more likely to die by suicide.
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 10–34 and the tenth leading cause of death overall in the U.S.
- The overall suicide rate in the U.S. has increased by 35 percent since 1999.
- 46 percent of people who die by suicide had a diagnosed mental health condition.
- While nearly half of individuals who die by suicide have a diagnosed mental health condition, research shows that 90 percent experienced symptoms.
- Annual prevalence of serious thoughts of suicide, by U.S. demographic group:
- 8% of all adults
- 8% of young adults aged 18-25
- 8% of high school students
- 8% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual high school students
- Some of the highest rates of suicide in the U.S. are among American Indian/Alaska Native and non-Hispanic white communities.
- Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than straight youth.
- Transgender adults are nearly 12 times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population.
- Suicide is the leading cause of death for people held in local jails.